Cameling Mutant Carrot Cake | Embodied Thinking | Dual Infinities

6/8/2012

Up early. Getting up early isn’t hard out here. There is no, “uuuhhhhggggg, what time is it”-sort of feeling, more of just an urgent realization that the sun is up, and that lots of things in the jungle will only be visible for 12 more hours.

Ate Kristina’s weird mutant carrot cake for breakfast. Pretty screwed up as far as carrot cake goes. She accidentally put in 4 times as many carrots and was terribly undercooked, then put back in the oven and burnt. It tastes like eating spoonfuls of mushy carrot covered in raw egg. Probably not a good idea for breakfast.

Caught a velvet ant. Looks so cute! Stings like crazy! I was lucky not to get hit!

Body has acclimated to jungle life. Am no longer leaking water as constantly. Still am mentally camel-ing food whenever I get the chance though (hence the carrot cake mutant). Out with Ummat in jungle to old Gamboa Road. Found Ummat’s machete lying in the jungle; look super badass.

Abandoned leaves from Leaf Cutter Ants

There’s an ant that lives in the trees and uses its wide head to glide. This might be that ant.

 

Yesterday thought about phenomenology (I’m like the bomb in “Dark Star”). Though about situated practice. Its light and dark sides of accelerated, biting design, along with the inescapable, hyper-fixated, animalistic concentration on narrow parts of broader pictures. I contrast this sort of thinking, done with one’s entire body stuck, mounted, in the problem, with the disembodied reasoning possible in the lab or at home. In the disembodied thought, you do battle with the infinite possibilities of the mind. With a situated design, you fight the other infiinity, the unending complexity of the real world space. Kundera describes these two infinities in ¬†The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

According to him, the first infinity that man fights is that of the physical world. Exploring, voyaging, probing. Then as we mature, we explore the second infinity of ideas. For me, however, I feel the reverse. As a child, I would learn about things in books, and explore these ideas constantly as I churn them over in my head. Concepts like “Army ants can wad up in masses and float in water” would intrigue me, and I would think ¬†onto other aspects of this concept like surface tension, and how long an ant can hold her breathe. Then when someone discusses this topic, I would have an internal feeling of, “oh yes, I’ve been there. I’ve explored that concept.” But now that I am pushed up against the actuality of these sorts of ideas, I find that the idea and implementation (while not dissimilar) are utterly different experiences. The concepts still apply, the ants do hold each other and float, but the reality is a whole new area to explore. Also, I feel that it’s not just a deeper, higher-resolution set of concepts, but a different way of experiencing and thinking.

Early prototyping to see ant trail reaction to quick changes in heat.

 

Another note: It seems that e need 1.5-2 feet minimum distance for the GoPro 3D to converge correctly. Will do tests with Narrower 1080p option to boost subject pixel quantity at this distance.

Interviewing Ummat about his work